Saturday, July 30, 2016

A Blast From the Past

July 19, 2016

Dear familia,

Wow what a crazy week! It has just gone by so fast! Full of lots of little and big miracles!

Monday night was crazy as we went from house to house to have a lesson! At the end of the night we were able to have a lesson with Jorge, who is an  investigator who we've trying to teach for the past three months but haven't been able to find him recently. He says he has a great desire to learn but he's been working for 20 days
straight. So we're going to teach him through using online resources! Such great blessings!

Wednesday we visited a referral that we had received from the English elders for a family I had taught previous in my mission when I covered that area for English speaking! I had no idea that they spoke Spanish! We taught the restoration and the mom had really amazing questions! At the end of the lesson she asked if she could come to church even though she isn't sure about baptism. Which was a blessing to have someone ask if they could come to church! :)

Thursday was the temple trip and I just have to say I am so grateful for serving where I get to attend the temple regularly!

This Sunday one of our less actives, Candy, came to church! She hasn't been for several years and recently we have been reading the Book of Mormon with her! The last lesson we had with her she told us that she
was going to go to church with her husband some day but when she felt it in her heart! Well I guess it was this Sunday that the Spirit prompted her to go! And she came! :)

This week we have transfers and that is why the email is kind of short, but with a drum roll..... I am returning back to Liahona 1st, my previous area! Plus an English ward! I am so excited! The past 7 1/2 months in the same area with lots of different wards has been so much fun and I have learned so much! Now the Lord needs me to go back! I am so excited! It is so great to be a missionary! I just love it!

I know the gospel of Jesus Christ is true and has been restored through Joseph Smith! I know that there is no greater work than the work to spread the gospel all around the world!

I love you all so much! Have a fantastic week!

Con amor,
Hermana Hart

We might have thrown pies at our zone leaders faces! :)

A trip to the temple (Hermanas Hart and Loynd)

Follow Your Heart!

July 11, 2016

Dear familia,
Sounds like things continue to be eventful at home! Which is great!

This week has been so wonderful here in Mesa! Earlier in the week Hermana Loynd and I were in the Visitors Center and another set of sisters came to get us for a tour for a man who had never been to the Visitors Center before. They talked to him for a few minutes and let us know that he is interested in learning more about the gospel! Kevin told us a little bit about himself and shared with us that he went to the Salt Lake temple visitors center several years ago and has never forgotten the peace that he felt there. Ever since then he has felt like his heart has been pulling him to the Mormon church. He was visiting from New Mexico and thought to visit the
temple here in Arizona. He called the Gilbert temple and they directed him to the visitors center! It was so amazing to hear his testimony of what the Holy Ghost has taught him throughout his life to then be ready to accept the gospel in his life! So amazing!

A little later on in the week we were in our area and teaching one of our less actives, Candy. We went over to follow up on reading the Book of Mormon. She didn't do it so we read with her. We finished reading with her and after a little bit she then told us that she told her husband that she would go back to church when it feels right in her heart! I know that she will have an experience that will touch her heart and she will act on her desire to go to church! :)

On Saturday afternoon we went to go visit a referral we received from the English missionaries! Her name is Lupe and she is hilarious! She is a little bit older than most of our current investigators! :) We went with one of the English members who is her neighbor. We had an interesting lesson including the member sharing her testimony and what the gospel has done for her with an analogy of crusty jelly doughnuts, but it worked! Lupe is so good and desires that Christ is more in her life! The interesting thing is that she prefers Spanish because the gospel language sticks more in her heart in Spanish! :)

This morning in honor of my trainer going home next week, we did a scavenger hunt as visitors center sisters! Which was so much fun! And so great to spend time with sisters who have changed me for the better!

I know that the greatest thing we can do is have Christ's name written upon our hearts like it says in Mosiah 5:12 and as we follow our heart by doing so we will be led to what is right! I know that the Lord will never lead us astray! I love being a missionary!

I love you all! Have a fantastic week!

Con amor,
Hermana Hart

My scavenger hunt team jumping for joy! 3 out of the 6 are Hermana Gonzalez ;)


Strangers we gave a pass along card to! They are already members....

Friday, July 29, 2016

Referral Miracles!

July 26, 2016

Dear familia,

This week was so amazing! As I have started my round 2 in Liahona 1 and also in the Solomon Ward (English)! So I cover 2 wards, one in Spanish where I already served and one in English which is new to me! I still serve as the visitors center trainer and so I help the sisters in the visitors center learn how to use the resources we have to be effect missionaries. Which is always so much fun as I get to do exchanges in the visitors center from 3-9pm with each of them during the transfer! My companion is Hermana Freckleton and she is from San Antonio, Texas. She loves exercise and eating healthy and is just so much fun to be around! We definitely laugh a lot! :) Which is really great! It will be a great transfer!

This week was full of all different kind of miracles which started as referrals! Which is how we do some of the work here in Mesa but the majority would probably be through street contacting. As we serve in the visitors center we don't really have time to tract if you define tracting as picking a neighborhood/ apartment complex and start
knocking on doors.

On Wednesday we visited a referral for Loretta, the English missionaries received in November but hadn't dropped yet. As we walked up to the door, she was standing outside and we asked if we could talk to her. She said sure and let us in! As we talked to her it turns out most of her family are members and she grew up going to church! She just never was baptized but now is ready to come back to church and make those promises with God through baptism! 8 months later we finally met her but she has been prepared for a long while!

Thursday night we had a set lesson who was a referral for someone who referred themselves on and requested a Bible! His name is Miguel, and at first when we knocked on the door he didn't answer but
after several tries he opened the door and we were able to share with him the message of the Restoration and a Book of Mormon! He has been searching for a religion lately and has some amazing questions that the restored gospel can answer! We are so excited to continue to work with him! And as a side note he has an awesome beard! :)

But I think one of the greatest miracles that happens this week was on Sunday! We went to Liahona 1 for church and it was so great to be with the members again! But something so special is that Lesly, an 11 year old girl that I taught before I left this area, told us at church that she received her answer that should be baptized the 24 of August! Her little sister was baptized just a few months ago and when Lesly is baptized the family will be able to enter into the temple to be sealed! The greatest thing was that a year ago while I was in this area we received this family as a referral from a member as someone to visit! Now they are fully active and preparing to go to the temple. The gospel is so amazing and it truly blesses families!

I love being a missionary and it is so amazing to come into contact with the people Heavenly Father is preparing through all different ways! I know the gospel of Jesus Christ truly is the only way to return back to our Heavenly Father! Keep sharing the gospel with your friends because you never know when they are ready!

I love you all so much!
Con amor,
Hermana Hart

This is Hermano and Hermana Martinez, their daughter is Lesly who will be getting baptized in August! They had just finished doing baptisms for the dead for the first time! :)

He is in the Details of the Plan!

July 4, 2016

Dear familia,
Happy Fourth of July! I hope you all enjoy some fireworks later tonight! And enjoyed chasing chickens! We definitely have to go next year! :)

This week has been so amazing! And has really been focused around how Heavenly Father has a plan for each one of us that will help us be happy here and the life to come! And it includes families and the blessings of the temple and being willing to follow!

On Thursday we met President and Sister Townsend! They are from Washington, but have been in Peru for the past couple of years, so they speak Spanish! Which is wonderful! He is very much like President Jenkins with regards to the mission rules which is great to make the transition a little bit easier! And at our meeting on Thursday he shared with us his vision for the mission and it was amazing to see that it was pretty similar to President Jenkins! It was amazing to see how both men were truly inspired by Heavenly Father and the visions
were similar! I am excited to serve with him and his wife!

This week as we stopped by our investigators's houses we actually had the opportunity to meet several of their children and have lessons with them which was really awesome because now we can teach the whole
family! I am so excited!

At the beginning of the week we had the chance to visit one of the less actives we are working with, Rosa, and we had such a great lesson about the blessings of the temple and how that is the place Heavenly Father wants all of His children! Like President Uchtdorf said in conference, it doesn't matter how you got where you are at right now, He just wants you on the path to come back! I know that is so true!

Later in the week on Thursday we had the opportunity to teach the plan of salvation to another less active to help her understand that the promises she made with God and her family in the temple a few years ago will allow her to be with her family forever, as long as she was willing to do her part here on Earth! I am so grateful for the
knowledge of the plan of salvation and that because of Jesus Christ we all have the chance to return back to Heavenly Father with our loved ones! We just have to do our part! Which is often the hardest part but we have the help of the Savior!

Friday night we had such a great lesson with a pair of sisters, Julia and Sixta. We were able to teach them a little bit about temples and how living the gospel of Jesus Christ will allow them to be able to enter the temple! And that their families can enter and be sealed for time and all eternity! This is one of the greatest blessings I love to
share with the people here in Mesa!

Yesterday a less active family came to church and it was truly the sweetest thing to see them all just sitting together! They are the cutest family and they only have the best that lays ahead of the them! But most definitely the highlight of my week was yesterday while we were at the visitors center! There was a less active visiting from
Texas and he came in because he just had the feeling he needed to be at the Mesa temple! So he came and we were able to talk to him a little bit about how his time at the visitors center was just what he needs to have the encouragement to come back! Heavenly Father is in the details! I know He loves His children and wants them to come home!

This week look for ways how Heavenly Father is in the details of your life and guide you!

I love you all so much! Thanks for all of your love and support! Be safe! Have a great week!

Con amor,
Hermana Hart

Follow up on cookies!

Sadly the clouds came and so our baking time was cut short... :( so we
ate cookie dough balls! But the Arizona summer has only just begun and
so we will have round two in the future!

Visitor Center missionaries with President and Sister Jenkins

When President and Sister Jenkins returned to Meridian after their mission, they brought a package home for Abby.  They took a picture in front of our home and sent it to Hermana Hart.

Learning to Become!

June 27, 2016

Dear familia,

I am glad to hear that y all enjoyed your week and found time for fun activities! Summertime is the best! And here in Mesa it feels like summertime almost all year which is great! 
This week has gone by so crazy fast! And it has been a great one! We spent most of our evenings on exchanges! Which I love so much as I am able to learn so much from each sister!
Tuesday I was on exchanges with Sister Gaskell in our area at night which was really cool to see how much we have both grown since we were companions at the beginning of both of our missions! In the Visitors Center in the morning that day I was able to send missionaries to someone who requested a Book or Mormon in Guatemala! It is amazing to see how the work of salvation is spreading all over the world!

On Wednesday we had a great district meeting about becoming! I love this topic because it gives us a chance to think of how our Heavenly Father sees us and the potential He sees in us! I know that each one of us can become who our Heavenly Father wants us to be, it just takes some effort and time and help from the atonement of Jesus Christ! But it is possible! In the evening we were in the Visitors Center and I was with Hermana Gonzalez from Chile and she is one of the most humble people that I know! What a great attribute to have and become like the Savior!

Thursday I was with Sister Judy on exchanges and she is my sister training leader! Which was so much fun! We conquered our fears of really big bugs! But more importantly I learned from Sister Judy to really listen to those we are teaching so we can better teach to their needs and help them continue to become who Heavenly Father wants them to be!

Friday night was really fun with Hermana Carrillo in the visitors center! Which we answered a phone call into from a lady in California. She desperately needed some help but wanted us to take care of everything for her instead of her doing some work on her part. Sadly we are pretty limited as to what we can do to physically help people out. But it made me think of how often do I expect Heavenly Father to solve all of my problems or the opposite I try to do everything on my own, but it doesn't work out that way. Really we should rely on Jesus Christ and his atonement in order to overcome our challenges and become the sons and daughters of God we are meant to be!

Sadly in the morning we said goodbye to President and Sister Jenkins in the morning at our preparation meeting! I sure will miss them! At the same time I am excited for our new mission president and wife! We will meet them on Thursday morning! So that will be something new this week you could say! :)

Today we played soccer with our zone! Which was so much fun, but I sure am out of shape! And we just kind of chilled because last week was a little crazy because we had a breakfast with all of the sisters on my shift! Which was really fun! Next week I am not quite sure what we will do for the 4 of July, but we might watch fireworks from the Visitors Center windows :) But I hope you all enjoy your weekend!

I have another great week of exchanges in the visitors center ahead as well! I know that there are specific people in our lives for a reason whether they are friends, family members or even strangers! But they are there to help us become the best that we can be, as we choose to surround ourselves with the right people and are where we are supposed to be!

I love you all so much! Be where you are supposed to be so you can become who you are supposed to be!
Con amor,
Hermana Hart

Esperanza and her cute family!
This is the family we helped move!

Car Cookies!

We are currently working on baking cookies in our car! :) A picture of
the finished product will be sent next week!

Cutest lady ever!

We gave a tour to some elders from Tempe and they asked that we take a
picture for them and then their investigator asked us to take one with
her! :)

One very large bug!

The bugs here in Mesa are huge! That is my shoe for reference! :)

The Visitors Center staff with the Jenkins!

We are a small but powerful group! And we love the Jenkins so much! We
will miss them!

The Gospel Brings Great Hope! :)

June 20, 2016

I am glad to hear that Saturday was a success! It would be great to see our new backyard through some pictures...:) 

It has been a crazy and good week this week! But the most monumental events took place towards the end of the week! Including surviving the hottest day of the year so far! :)

On Thursday we kind of pretty much said goodbye to President and Sister Jenkins! :( As they will be leaving at the end of this month! But I learned so much at our last meeting with them as they shared their testimonies! One of the greatest stories was that of one of President Jenkins's friends, who is a convert. He served a mission and at the beginning of his mission his mission president asked him what was his goal as a missionary and he said to have 50 converts by the end of his mission. As he was heading home on the plane he was talking to the lady next to him and he shared with her his experiences and the people he met and taught. While doing so he realized that he had 49 converts and was a little disappointed that he hadn't reached his goal. The lady then said to him, "I don't know if I believe what you are sharing with me, but I sure know that you do." He was his 50th convert! That is my greatest hope as a missionary that I will be able to leave my mission being more converted to the Savior and the restored gospel!

As the visitors' center trainer, I help plan meetings for the visitors' center and I "lead" a shift of sisters, so it would be comparable to a manager in the real world I guess is the best way to put it! I do still serve in the Visitors' Center and in the field and this week was great being in our area!

One of the best lessons we had this week was on Friday with Julia and Sixta and their husbands, Lelo and Carlos, as well as one of the recent converts of the ward, Fabian! It was so amazing to see how Fabian was able to share his testimony of the Book of Mormon and the Gospel of Jesus Christ! As we were teaching about repentance and baptism, Lelo looked a little discouraged when we taught that we can be completely clean from sin as we repent and are baptized! He then spoke up saying that it is very hard to be completely clean, but we were then able to go on to better explain the atonement and how it is through Jesus Christ that we can be made perfectly clean as we do our part and repent! What great hope there is to have that knowledge of the Savior and His role in God's plan! 

On Saturday we moved Esperanza, one of our investigators, and her family into a home they have been waiting for for 10 years! They moved here from Mexico with nothing but the clothes on their backs about 11 years ago and they have lived in the same apartment (where we moved them from) for the past 10 years! And now they have moved into the house of their dreams! After our district had helped us move them all in, we stayed back to share with them one last lesson before we handed them off to the other sisters! As we sat there with Esperanza and her husband and their 2 children we could just feel the love and hope that filled the house to make it a home! :) It has been a great blessing to be a part of their journey as they have come to learn more about the hope that the Gospel can bring families!

I am so grateful for Jesus Christ and His atoning sacrifice! In my Book of Mormon study I have come to better understand that it is only through faith in Him and His atoning sacrifice that we can receive salvation! I know that is true! And that there is no greater blessing than to share that message with people here in Mesa, Arizona! 
I love you all so much! Thank you for your love and support! And hope that you enjoy your summer break with a little more time on your hands!

Hermana Hart

PS We were able to cook an egg in a pan outside! :)

It really works!


New Calling

15 June 2016

Dear Brother and Sister Hart,

We want you to know that your daughter, Sister Abigail Hart, has been called to be a trainer for the Visitors’ Center.  As a trainer for the Visitors’ Center, Sister Hart will work closely with the Visitors’ Center Director and the sister missionaries assigned to the Center to make their teaching more effective.  It involves a great deal of responsibility and communication skills, along with love and understanding for those sister missionaries.

Sister Hart has been called to this position of trust and responsibility because of her outstanding example of faith, diligence, obedience, and her ability to teach the gospel.  We are grateful for Sister Hart’s service in the Arizona Mesa Mission, and we thank you for raising such a fine missionary.

Thank you again for sharing your daughter with us.

Faithfully yours,

  Kirk L. Jenkins

President, Arizona Mesa Mission

Sometimes it Takes Time, and Sometimes it Takes a Baby!

June 13, 2016

Dear familia,
I am happy to hear that the wedding went well and that the rain didn't ruin too much of the party! :) I hope everything this weekend goes well!
What a crazy week here in Mesa! But I loved every minute of it!

Earlier this week we were in our area at night and the Primary president of our ward asked that we visit some of the children that we know, but she didn't and invite their families to come to church and other activities. So when we met up at night she had her baby with her, when she normally leaves all of her children at home with her husband! But little did we know that this baby would be our key into a home that no one has been able to enter for at least several months!  When we knocked on the door, the grandma opened the door and we tried to talk with her a little bit and get to know her but her response to every question was "We don't go to church!". As we tried to help her understand we were there to help her she saw the little baby, Ellie, in Hermana Pimienta's (the Primary president) arms and asked if she could hold the baby. Hermana said yes and handed Ellie over. Well just a few minutes later she asked if she could take Ellie inside, and Hermana was a little hesitant but then said yes if she could come. The grandma went inside with Ellie and Hermana followed her, Sister Loynd and I looked at each other and said "We must be invited by association then..." So we were able to talk with the Gracia family, including the grandma, mother and granddaughter who all live together. It was really amazing to see that an afterthought, or prompting really of Hermana Pimienta, lead to an amazing miracle!

This Sunday we passed by one of our less active members, Tania, to make sure she didn't need any help to get ready for church or to find it. Well we stood outside pounding on her door like the police (last time she didn't hear us) and eventually she came to the door. She had just woken up and it was 10:30 and church 11. She just looked at us and said "What should we do?" and Sister Loynd and I both said, "Get ready for church!" So she returned back to her room to get ready! The problem was that she had 2 of her kids that are 5 and 2 who were still sleeping. We were in this awkward situation where we couldn't get the kids ready and we couldn't help her get ready... so we just awkwardly paced around her apartment trying to find shoes for the kids and put snacks in a container. She finally just told us that she would meet us there even though she will be late! 

The other day we were in the Visitors' Center and we were chatting with people who visited, and Fritz, living in Ghana, came on to chat. He asked that we pray for him and his friends, which then lead into a discussion about what missionaries do and what is our purpose! He is very religious and actually writes religious books! We asked him if he would like to meet with local missionaries and he said yes! Because the organization in Africa is a little bit difficult he gave us his phone number so the missionaries there can call and set up a time and place to meet! How exciting! He is going to meet with missionaries on the other side of the world! He probably had no idea he was chatting with missionaries in Mesa, Arizona! But how amazing it is to see the Lord preparing people to accept the gospel! 

These past few weeks while I have been full-field I haven't had contact with many of my investigators I was teaching online, and so I was able to Facebook message an investigator in Mexico, Paola, who I had been emailing several months before! She had come onto and I was able to chat with her to help her answer some of her questions and then find places she could continue to learn more! She then began going to church with her friend and then meeting with the local missionaries! I messaged her Friday night after 6 weeks of not talking with her and she told me she was going to get baptized on Sunday! And she was! What an amazing miracle! But even on top of that her mother, who is very active of another faith, came to her baptism! She had been praying for that blessing ever since she set a baptism date! Heavenly Father hears our prayers!

I know that Heavenly Father will always provide a way for us to receive the blessings that we need, whether it takes a cute little baby for us to enter a house and allow the family to feel the love Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ have for them or He touches the hearts for whom we are praying for! I know that Heavenly Father has a plan for each of us! I invite you all to pray to know what Heavenly Father has planned to be your next step, big or small! 

I love you all so much! Have a great week and don't forget to smile! And don't eat too many s'mores at the reception, but eat one for me!

Con mucho amor,
Hermana Hart

Our investigator's testimony!

He shared how he is grateful for the unconditional love God has for
us! And how he is grateful for all the God has done for him!